Using Virtual Tours To Target Overseas Clients

There are a wealth of buyers for properties in the UK, particularly in major cities such as London and Manchester, from overseas. Research from Knight Frank found that in 2014, 49% of buyers in London were from overseas. Investment in UK property continues to remain strong, despite the uncertainties of Brexit. 

In the past, marketing to these clients relied on flat photography and for those clients to visit the properties in person, or to send a representative to do so. Of course, there’s also the famous ‘Exhibition Road Trip’ around Middle and Far Eastern cities.

These are two or three-day hotel exhibitions, which are set up - at great expense - with large wooden models (which cost as much to build as they do to insure and transport!), as well as elaborate displays. The issue with these road shows is that there are very strict dates and geographical locations, which means that if potential clients can’t make it, all that money is wasted.

However, in the era of virtual tours, it is no longer necessary for overseas clients to take time-consuming journeys to visit properties that they have merely seen in photos, or at the aforementioned far-away roadshows. With virtual tours, they are now able to experience representations of the properties you are marketing in a more immersive, true-to-life way, without leaving their home.

360° virtual tours of properties not only allow prospective buyers to view properties that they are interested in from afar. The ease with which property viewings in 360 photography can be accessed also means that these buyers can see more properties than ever before. A buyer can peruse accurate depictions of large numbers of properties, allowing them to shortlist their preferred choices in a matter of hours. 

Research shows that 75% of the interviewed potential real estate buyers stated that they preferred interactive virtual tours over normal photographs and that these tours influenced their purchase decision.

Once the shortlist has been ascertained, that may be the point at which an overseas client decides to make the trip to view the properties in person. That being said, overseas property clients that are investing in property in the UK on a buy-to-let basis may never need to do so at all. Either way, from the real estate agent’s perspective, 360-degree virtual tours are a blessing in terms of saving agents’ time and resources, as the legwork involved in conducting multiple property viewings is substantially reduced. The typical buyer currently views between 10 and 15 properties in person before making their choice. If there is an opportunity to bring that number down considerably, then it is certainly one not to be missed.

Of course, all of the above benefits of virtual tours apply as much to domestic clients as to overseas ones. However, the magic ingredient that makes the 360° virtual tour even more appealing for overseas clients is the sheer distance involved. 

One drawback that some agents mention about 360° virtual tours is the lack of a face for clients to engage with. At EyeSpy360™, we’ve already thought about this - and are just about to launch the perfect solution! Our new feature, EyeSpyLIVE™ will allow clients to book live viewings with agents, who can then talk them through the tour in real-time. It works almost like FaceTime or a Google Hangout, and brings back that human interaction that other 360° virtual tours can lack. 

We have also solved the issue of location viewing. When you go to view a property, you are not just looking at the property itself, but the surrounding area as well. Most buyers, whether overseas or domestic, want to know about the local neighbourhood, what it’s like, and what’s around. With EyeSpy360™’s new information labelling functionality, you can add Google Street View to your tour, which opens up the opportunity for overseas clients to see beyond the property itself. Along with this, the service enables you to integrate text, images, and videos into your tour, which not only allows you to add much more detail to your virtual tour, but also to create a video that is dynamic and engaging, setting you apart from the competition. 

The best overseas property marketing comes from those projects that effectively communicate a certain lifestyle and feeling to buyers. You are selling a story, a story of a life far away from what they know, a story of a place where things are better. That is what our information labels offer, as well as EyeSpyLIVE™, which will give a friendly face to an empty virtual space. 

With such an abundance of overseas buyers wishing to invest in property in the UK, agents are under strict competition to devise innovative marketing strategies that target these buyers in ever-more engaging ways. 360° virtual tours incorporating exciting new elements that investors may not have previously encountered form a key part of positioning your brand as thought-leaders within the overseas market; whether you deal with property in the UK or for buyers in overseas locations. Creating stories that incorporate a positive experience of your property from afar has always been a difficult task, but with the virtual reality technology facilitated by 360° virtual tours, you can rise above the competition, achieve more leads through word-of-mouth with potentially lucrative clients, and - of course - nail those all-important conversions.